Two months ago, Chung Hyeon was forced to retire against Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open with young South Korean suffering from a severe foot injury.
The 36-year-old top seed says it was tough to watch Chung in pain during their Australian Open semi-final, and that he “felt for him”. Federer is looking forward to facing an in-form and healthy Chung this time around.
“He seems like a nice guy, very level-headed. I think similarities to Novak’s (Djokovic’s) game are particular, which is mostly in his movement, the way he’s able to slide to his forehand and to his backhand with the open stance, which not many guys do or do it as extensively as Chung does,” said Federer of his South Korean opponent.
“That’s the only similarity I see. You know, service motion, all the other motions are very, very different. It’s a Chung motion if you like. Nobody has that kind of motion, I think, which is good.
“But I see where the similarities come from with Novak and it’s not a bad one to have, to be honest, because Novak has maybe the best footwork on hard courts we have ever seen.”
Chung grew up idolizing Djokovic and his playing style and baseline game have certainly driven people to draw comparisons between the two.
His consistency this season has been incredible, having made the quarter-finals or better in five of the six tournaments he has contested so far.